Apart from healthy fats (called unsaturated fats), there are two more types of fats that are present as nutritious elements in different kinds of foods: saturated and trans fats.
However, those two types of fats are not as healthy and are even related to severe health problems if are consumed for a long period of time.
In this article, you will meet the unhealthy fats, their disadvantages and the foods that contain them!
This type of fats is associated with cardiac diseases, increased levels of both good and bad (total) cholesterol, and risk of arteries blockages. Of course, those effects are caused by eating high amounts of foods, rich in saturated fats in the long run. If you have a balanced diet, with more unsaturated and less saturated fats, then you are on the right track, and you can relax.
Now, what do the saturated fats look like? They are solid both at room temperature and when refrigerated (that’s why they are also called “solid fats”). The sold fats can mainly be found in animal products and tropical oils. Let’s see in detail which foods are rich in saturated fats:
- Red meat: pork, beef, lamb
- Milk and dairy products: cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, etc.
- Palm oil
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
Some people may be surprised that coconut oil falls into the “avoid” category. It turns out that it is not very suitable for consumption in the long run despite its beneficial properties (promote weight loss and boost metabolism). I can recommend substituting the coconut oil (and other types of solid fats) with unsaturated fats, such as olive oil. This way, you will reduce the risk for increased bad cholesterol levels and heart attack, as at the same time, you will improve your overall health condition.
I want to emphasize on the fact that the foods which contain solid fats, are not necessarily bad for you. They have other healthy compounds, minerals, and vitamins which are beneficial to the health. To benefit from those micronutrients, do not exclude the saturated fats from your diet, but replace some of them with “healthy fats.”
It is very important not to replace the solid fats with carbs, as this way there will be no positive influence on the health and body
I will not delve deep into this topic, because the trans fats are not naturally extracted fats, but are created in laboratory conditions. They are made by heating vegetable oils together with hydrogen gas. This process is called hydrogenation, and it turns the liquid oils into solid substances. Why the food industry uses this process? It is because when the oils become solid, their properties and characteristics are changed on a molecular level. As a result, when used in the production of processed foods, they increase the shelf life of the product (and give crispiness to cookies and crackers).
Trans fats are the most unhealthy type of fats, as they cause inflammation and heart diseases, lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, and increase the bad cholesterol levels. Be careful, because such fats are found in the foods that we eat on our cheat days:
- Processed foods
- Sauces and dressings